What comes to your mind when you hear the word Xoloitzcuintli?
Yes, it may sound like some kind of foreign creature. But if you’re a canine enthusiast, you’ll know it’s actually the name of a hairless dog breed!
Also known as Mexican hairless dogs or Xolos for short, the Xoloitzcuintli is a rare and special breed of hairless dogs that have been around for hundreds of years.
The Xolo is known to be one of the first dogs to be domesticated by humans. Old ceramic statues dug up by archaeologists suggest this breed was around for thousands of years and were companions to ancient tribes.
Their name combines the word ‘Xolotl,’ which means the Aztec god of the underworld, and ‘itzcuintli,’ which is the Aztec word for dog. For the Aztecs, Xolos were believed to provide protection and are still considered healers in some Mexican villages.
You may recognize the Xoloitzcuintli dog as Dante in the popular 2017 Pixar animated film, “Coco,” which takes place in Mexico.
Today, Xoloitzcuintlis aren’t as common in America, but they are here and are now found in three classes: standard, miniature, and toy. They range from 10 to 50 pounds.
Xoloitzcuintlis are known for being special dogs that are sensitive, smart, and loving. Their lack of hair, which is due to a recessive trait, does make them a high-maintenance breed.
Anyone who owns a Xoloitzcuintli has to bathe them frequently with special shampoo, as they’re prone to blemishes and skin irritation. For instance, they can actually get sunburnt, so they need sunscreen just like we do!